Citizens! There can be no doubt clouding your perception of the glory of the almighty TFD – and know that my relationship with coincidence and fate is the true stuff of LEGEND!
This must be rectified immediately and with purpose, forged into a Jovian thunderbolt of deliciousness set to strike your palate NOW.
Today, I received an email from my favorite gastronomic website – I speak of Gastro Obscura and if you are not subscribing to it – by all means, do so with haste! You’ll thank me – it’s a tremendous resource and great writing to boot!
Their latest recipe is for a dish I’d never heard of – a hyper-local regional dish so rare in its home state of Tennessee that even most locals aren’t aware of it outside of one small town.
I speak of “Doodle Soup” – and don’t turn your nose up at this simple recipe, it is (wait for it)…
Southern Hot and Sour soup!
As noted on doodlesoupdays.com:
Doodle soup is a broth that’s made from the drippings of roasted chicken or game mixed with salt, vinegar, cayenne pepper, water, sugar and flour. Typically, it is eaten as a soup with crackers or some type of bread or poured back over the roasted meat as a flavoring.
Today, there are many variations of the soup but the strong taste of vinegar remains a key characteristic of doodle soup.
To get a sense of the history of this soup (which only seems to date back to the mid 1950’s) You can watch this video to learn more about the soup and the town that birthed it.
The primary gripe people tend to have around this dish is that since the fat isn’t skimmed off the broth, it can be greasy. I’ve modified the recipe to skim most of the fat – but not all of it. Feel free to leave all the fat in there for the original experience.
I’ve also added some herbs and vegetables to the broth to increase the flavor and I use cornstarch instead of flour to thicken the soup.
Most recipes call for chicken or game as the meat – I’ve combined both by specifying some venison shanks for the broth – you can also use beef shanks if you so prefer. You can buy the shanks already cut up here, if you aren’t a hunter or lack access to a butcher who stocks venison.
I also amp up the flavor of the broth with some chicken demi-glacé – yes, it’s an “uptown” sort of change, but it really does make an enormous impact on the final flavor. You can buy my preferred brand here.
Lastly, there is a “holy war” between locals as to whether this dish should be served with crackers or biscuits – I fall firmly into the “biscuit camp”.
Don’t be prejudiced against the rural charm of this recipe, Citizens! You’ll truly be missing out if you are.
Battle on – The GeneralissimoPrint
The Hirshon Tennessee Doodle Soup
- Total Time: 0 hours
- 9 1/2 cups water mixed with 2 1/2 cups white vinegar, or more to taste (decrease amount of water by the same amount of vinegar you add – you want 12 cups total)
- 2 large broiler chickens
- 1 pound venison shank, cut into pieces (totally optional TFD addition – omit, or use beef shank)
- 1 large bunch parsley
- 1 large bunch fresh thyme
- 3 onions, peeled and halved
- 3 tbsp. cornstarch, dissolved in an equal amount of hot water or stock
- chicken demi-glacé to taste (TFD addition, totally optional but TFD really prefers it with)
- Dried Chiles de Arbol to taste, but use at least 8 broken in 1/2 (stems removed)
- Browned meat from the chicken and venison
- Bring the liquids to a boil in a very large stockpot.
- Turn down heat add the dried chiles and meats, then simmer for 2 hours.
- Remove meat, take off bones (discard bones).
- Brown the meat with some oil in a pan, drain oil and reserve.
- Add parsley, thyme and onions and simmer 1 more hour. In the last 15 minutes, add chicken demi-glacé (if using until you have a strong, good-flavored soup. If not using Chicken Demi-glacé, reduce until a good flavor and color is achieved.
- Strain out all solids except the dried chiles and discard.
- Let the soup cool and put in the fridge until the fat solidifies at the top. Remove ¾ of it and reserve to smear on biscuits with meal.
- Return soup to a boil, and then stir in the cornstarch mixture until lightly thickened. Taste it – it should be very spicy and strong with the taste of vinegar. If neither, add vinegar and hot sauce to amp it to the correct flavor levels.
- Divide meats between bowls, pour on soup, serve with hot biscuits smeared with butter and/or the chicken fat.
- Prep Time: 0 hours
- Cook Time: 0 hours
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